Tour Itinerary & Schedule

(Tentative as of January 2012)

The England of Jane Austen and Her Family
A Pathfinders Tour
July 14-23, 2012

Walking from St. Nicholas Church to site of the old Steventon rectory
(photo © Debbie McNeil)

Saturday, July 14: Join JASNA members in the morning at a Heathrow airport hotel for the start of the tour.  (Pre-tour hotel arrangements will be offered.)  Travel by deluxe motor coach to Tonbridge in Kent for a guided walking tour of the town where Jane Austen’s father was born, attended school, and taught for a period of time.  Visit Horsmonden and see the church and home of Jane Austen’s paternal grandparents, then continue to Tunbridge Wells for a welcome dinner.  Hotel in Tunbridge Wells; D*

Sunday, July 15: Visit Goodnestone Park, home of the in-laws of Jane Austen’s brother Edward, for a private tour of the house and magnificent gardens.  Meet Lady FitzWalter, a descendant of that family, and lunch in the converted stables.  Continue to Canterbury and tour the Cathedral, then spend free time exploring this ancient city before returning to the hotel.  Hotel in Tunbridge Wells; B, L*

Monday, July 16: Visit Sevenoaks and tour the Red House, where Jane Austen’s uncle had his legal office, then travel to Godmersham to see Godmersham House, estate, and church – once the home of Jane Austen’s brother Edward.  Return to Tunbridge Wells and visit Henry Austen’s grave.  Hotel in Tunbridge Wells; B*

    Jane Austen’s House Museum (Chawton Cottage)
Photo © Allan Soedring
Tuesday, July 17: Depart for Bath, via Guildford, visiting The Vyne on the way—an elegant great house where Jane Austen attended many parties (pictured on the 2012 tour page).  Travel to Steventon, Austen’s birthplace, to see the village and the site of the old rectory and to visit St Nicholas Church, where Jane was baptized.  Parishioners will speak of Steventon “then and now.”  Continue via Overton and Whitchurch to Bath.  Hotel in Bath; B, D*

Wednesday, July 18: Tour Jane Austen’s Bath in the steps of the Austen family, including Walcot Church to see George Austen’s grave and the grave of Fanny Burney.  Visit the Jane Austen Centre and the Pump Room.  Hotel in Bath; B*

Thursday, July 19: Continue to explore Bath, including the Assembly Rooms, the Museum of Costume, and the Georgian House at No. 1 Royal Crescent.  Free afternoon followed by dinner and themed entertainment in an elegant private home.  Hotel in Bath; B, D*

Friday, July 20: Depart for Oxford to visit St John’s College (where Rev. George Austen was a student and don) and the Bodleian Library for a special presentation of the manuscript of “The Watsons” and other Austeniana by Dr. Chris Fletcher, Keeper of Special Collections.  After an independent lunch, continue to Chawton, Hampshire, for a private tour of Chawton House Library (formerly the home of Austen’s brother Edward) and a visit to Jane Austen’s House Museum (Chawton Cottage).  Continue to Winchester.  Hotel in Winchester; B, D*

    JASNA Memorial Ceremony at Jane Austen’s Grave
Photo © Lauraleen O’Connor
Saturday, July 21: Morning ceremony at the grave of Jane Austen in Winchester Cathedral, with the remainder of the morning free.  Return to the grounds of Chawton House Library to attend the AGM of the Jane Austen Society of the UK, including a lecture and tea, followed by evensong at St. Nicholas Church, Chawton.  Return to the hotel.  Hotel in Winchester; B, Tea*

Sunday, July 22: Following a morning at leisure in Winchester (with an opportunity to attend morning service at the Cathedral), depart in the early afternoon on an excursion to Portsmouth, where you can visit the Historic Dockyard, the Maritime Museum (site of the former Royal Naval College), and the HMS Victory.  Tour the small 18th century sector of Old Portsmouth.  Return to Winchester for a farewell dinner.  Hotel in Winchester; B, D*

Monday, July 23: Tour ends.  Depart for London by coach.  Those flying home from Heathrow or Gatwick on this day are advised to book a flight departing no earlier than 11:00 AM.  Please inquire if you are interested in booking London accommodations  for a short stay after the tour ends and before the start of the 2012 Olympics on July 27.  Prices rise significantly (and availability might be very limited) from Wednesday, July 25, onward.  Those prolonging their stay must make their own transportation arrangements when returning to the airport.  B*

*B, L, D, and Tea indicate meals included in the tour price.